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    Monthly Archives: January 2014

    • Don’t Rely on Quick Flu Tests

    • NWS Aware/Disaster Preparedness Report

      Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster! Get your Gear on - Prepare for Disaster!

      Did you know that NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and NWS (National Weather Service) offer a Disaster Preparedness Report? They have been since 1976!

      Aware is a free publication of the National Weather Service geared to the emergency management community, partners and NWS staff. It is only available in electronic format. Feel free to download and reprint any edition. To subscribe or unsubscribe to Aware, go to http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/awarelist.shtml

      Aware
       

       

      Disaster Preparedness Report : predecessor of Aware
      1981

      In some years, Aware was not published quarterly.
    • Winter Safety FAQs

      If you want to stay Warm & Safe in Winter... you need to know what you are dealing with:

      What is the wind chill effect?

      As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly. When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool.

      Visit the National Weather Service Web site for a Windchill Chart (shows the difference between air temperature and perceived temperature and amount of time until frostbite occurs), Wind Chill Calculator, and information on the updated Wind Chill Temperature Index.

      Windchill Factor Chart Windchill Factor Chart

      Wind Chill Temperature Index brochure cover
      Download the Windchill brochure
      in PDF format.

      WHY ARE INFANTS AND OLDER PEOPLE MOST AT RISK FOR COLD-RELATED ILLNESS?

      Infants lose body heat more easily than adults; additionally, infants can't make enough body heat by shivering. Infants less than one year old should never sleep in a cold room. Provide warm clothing and a blanket for infants and try to maintain a warm indoor temperature. If the temperature cannot be maintained, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere. In an emergency, you can keep an infant warm using your own body heat. If you must sleep, take precautions to prevent rolling on the baby. Pillows and other soft bedding can also present a risk of smothering; remove them from the area near the baby.

      Older adults often make less body heat because of a slower metabolism and less physical activity. If you are more than 65 years of age, check the temperature in your home often during severely cold weather. Also, check on elderly friends and neighbors frequently to ensure that their homes are adequately heated.

      WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I GET STRANDED IN COLD WEATHER?

      Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna as a signal to rescuers.
      Move anything you need from the trunk into the passenger area.
      Wrap your entire body, including your head, in extra clothing, blankets, or newspapers.
      Stay awake. You will be less vulnerable to cold-related health problems.
      Run the motor (and heater) for about 10 minutes per hour, opening one window slightly to let in air. Make sure that snow is not blocking the exhaust pipe—this will reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
      As you sit, keep moving your arms and legs to improve your circulation and stay warmer.
      Do not eat unmelted snow because it will lower your body temperature.

      WHAT IS THE BEST CLOTHING FOR COLD WEATHER?

      Adults and children should wear:

      • a hat
      • a scarf or knit mask to cover face and mouth
      • sleeves that are snug at the wrist
      • mittens (they are warmer than gloves)
      • water-resistant coat and shoes
      • several layers of loose-fitting clothing

      Be sure the outer layer of your clothing is tightly woven, preferably wind resistant, to reduce body-heat loss caused by wind. Wool, silk, or polypropylene inner layers of clothing will hold more body heat than cotton. Stay dry—wet clothing chills the body rapidly. Excess perspiration will increase heat loss, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm. Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.

      Do not ignore shivering. It's an important first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

      WHAT SHOULD I EAT AND DRINK DURING PERIODS OF EXTREME COLD?

      Eating well-balanced meals will help you stay warmer. Do not drink alcoholic beverages—they cause your body to lose heat more rapidly. Instead, drink warm, sweet beverages such as hot chocolate to help maintain your body temperature. If you have any dietary restrictions, ask your doctor.
      HOW CAN I HEAT MY HOME SAFELY?

      If you plan to use a wood stove, fireplace, or space heater, be extremely careful. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as well as the advance home safety measures on page 4 and remember these safety tips:

      • Store a multipurpose, dry chemical fire extinguisher near the area to be heated.
      • Do not burn paper in a fireplace.
      • Ensure adequate ventilation by opening an interior door or slightly opening a window if you must use a kerosene heater.
      • Use only the type of fuel your heater is designed to use—don't substitute.
      • If your heater has a damaged electrical cord or produces sparks, don't use it.
      • Use fireplaces, wood stoves, and other combustion heaters only if they are properly vented to the outside and do not leak flue gas into the indoor air space. Make sure chimneys and flues are cleaned periodically.
      • Do not place a space heater near things that may catch on fire, such as drapes, furniture, or bedding.

      WHAT IS HYPOTHERMIA?

      When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won't be able to do anything about it.

      Hypothermia occurs most commonly at very cold environmental temperatures, but can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

      WHO IS MOST AT RISK FOR HYPOTHERMIA?

      Victims of hypothermia are most often:

      • elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating
      • babies sleeping in cold bedrooms
      • children left unattended
      • adults under the influence of alcohol
      • mentally ill individuals
      • people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.

      WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS FOR HYPOTHERMIA?

      Adults:

      • shivering/exhaustion
      • confusion/fumbling hands
      • memory loss/slurred speech
      • drowsiness

      Infants:

      • bright red, cold skin
      • very low energy
      • WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE SOMEONE WITH WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA?

      If you notice signs of hypothermia, take the person's temperature. If it is below 95°F (35°C), the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.

      If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

      • Get the victim into a warm room or shelter.
      • If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it.
      • Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
      • Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do NOT give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
      • After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
      • Get medical attention as soon as possible.

      A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.

      WHAT IS FROSTBITE?

      Frostbite is an injury to the body that is caused by freezing. Frostbite causes a loss of feeling and color in affected areas. It most often affects the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Frostbite can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation.
      WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF FROSTBITE?

      At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning. Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

      • a white or grayish-yellow skin area
      • skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
      • numbness
      • Note: A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.

      WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I SEE SOMEONE WITH WARNING SIGNS OF FROSTBITE?

      If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described previously. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.

      If (1) there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia and (2) immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:

      • Get into a warm room as soon as possible.
      • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes—this increases the damage.
      • Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
      • Or, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.
      • Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
      • Don't use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.

      Note: These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a health care provider. It is a good idea to take a first aid and emergency resuscitation (CPR) course to prepare for cold-weather health problems. Knowing what to do is an important part of protecting your health and the health of others.

    • Learn First Aid Free

    • Students learn wilderness first aid at Yellowstone

    • ¡Cuidado! Estar sentado todo el día destruye tu salud

      Ejercicio y problemas respiratorios El ejercicio físico es muy importante para prevenir y mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas que poseen enfermedades respiratorias. La actividad física no solo fortalece los músculos respiratorios sino que también ayuda a mejorar la disnea o sensación de falta de aire y la sensación de fatiga, síntomas comunes en muchas enfermedades respiratorias. Además el ejercicio ayuda a distribuir mejor el oxígeno captado por la respiración. Si tienes trastornos respiratorios visita a tu médico antes de realizar ejercicio físico ya que este necesita ser adaptado a tu capacidad respiratoria la cual el médico evaluará con un estudio llamado "espirometría" Ejercicio y problemas respiratorios
      El ejercicio físico es muy importante para prevenir y mejorar la calidad de vida de las personas que poseen enfermedades respiratorias. La actividad física no solo fortalece los músculos respiratorios sino que también ayuda a mejorar la disnea o sensación de falta de aire y la sensación de fatiga, síntomas comunes en muchas enfermedades respiratorias. Además el ejercicio ayuda a distribuir mejor el oxígeno captado por la respiración. Si tienes trastornos respiratorios visita a tu médico antes de realizar ejercicio físico ya que este necesita ser adaptado a tu capacidad respiratoria la cual el médico evaluará con un estudio llamado "espirometría"

      La falta de actividad física es uno de los factores de riesgos más importantes para la salud.

      El sobrepeso afecta negativamente la calidad y expectativa de vida. Diabetes, hipertensión, depresión y muchas más enfermedades están asociadas con el sobrepeso. Una dieta balanceada y ejercicio le puede ayudar a bajar de peso y mejorar su salud. Lea más sobre los beneficios de ser activo.

      #depresión #insomnia #gordo #sobrepeso #bajar de peso

      Zoll AED Zoll AED
    • Winter Comfort and Safety at Home and On the Road

      Winter has arrived and you should stockpile the following supplies in the event a winter storm or power outage prevents you from leaving your home.

      survival kit
      • Flashlights and extra batteries
      • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
      • Emergency non-perishable foods that do not require refrigeration
      • Non-electric can opener
      • Bottled water
      • One week supply of essential medicines
      • Extra blankets and sleeping bags
      • First aid kit and manual
      • Fire extinguisher
      • Emergency heating equipment, used properly
      Know the Terms

      Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a winter storm hazard:

      Winter Safety - Click to see what you need! Winter Safety - Click to see what you need!

      Freezing Rain - Rain that freezes when it hits the ground, creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

      Sleet - Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

      Winter Weather Advisory - Winter weather conditions are expected to cause significant inconveniences and may be hazardous. When caution is used, these situations should not be life threatening.

      Winter Storm Watch - A winter storm is possible in your area. Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for more information.

      Winter Storm Warning - A winter storm is occurring or will soon occur in your area.

      Blizzard Warning - Sustained winds or frequent gusts to 35 miles per hour or greater and considerable amounts of falling or blowing snow (reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile) are expected to prevail for a period of three hours or longer.

      Frost/Freeze Warning - Below freezing temperatures are expected.

      Winter @ Home

      Winterize Your Home
      • Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.
      • Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment. Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.
      • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
      • Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
      • All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
      • Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.
      • Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).
      • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
      • Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

      Winter on the Road

      Update the auto emergency kits in your vehicles with:

      • Image of Winter Emergency Preparedness Kit AAA Winter Emergency Preparedness Kit

        a shovel

      • windshield scraper and small broom
      • flashlight
      • battery powered radio
      • extra batteries
      • water
      • snack food
      • matches
      • extra hats, socks and mittens
      • first aid kit with pocket knife
      • necessary medications
      • blanket(s)
      • tow chain or rope
      • road salt and sand
      • booster cables
      • emergency flares
      • fluorescent distress flag

      Read more about Weathering Winter in Comfort and Safety

    • Winter Wisdom - Winter and Severe Weather Safety

      Winter Safety Winter Safety

      Winter is harsh.. It looks like this year may be a record-breaking one for low temperatures, severe storms and weather related injuries and death.

      Our clients have been doing a great job stocking up on warmers, winter safety kits and the like, but winter safety requires education and planning, too  here are some resource you can use to spread the winter wisdom:

      Blog Post Template - National Severe Weather Preparedness Week  
      Op-Ed Template - National Severe Weather Preparedness Week
      Press Release Template - Severe Weather Preparedness Week
      Social Media Tools - Severe Weather Preparedness Week
      Talking Points Template - Severe Weather Preparedness Week

      winterweather

    • Emergency Eyewash & Shower Stations

      Personal Protective Equipment such as gloves, goggles, and face shields are the first line of defense against many types of exposures, but accidental exposures still happen. If a person in your facility could be exposed to materials that cause injury, then appropriate facilities for the flushing of the eyes and or body shall be provided, for immediate decontamination. The 10 - 15 seconds after initial exposure to a hazard are the most critical, especially if the substance is corrosive.

      The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard Z358.1 serves as a guide for the correct design, installation, use and maintenance of emergency equipment. This standard recommends that the affected body part must be flushed immediately and thoroughly for at least fifteen minutes using a large supply of clean Water / Flushing Fluid under low pressure to dilute the contaminates, in many cases water isn’t capable of neutralizing them. If the irritation persists, the flushing procedure should be repeated, and medical attention should be given as soon as possible.

      From Eye Drops, Eye Cups and Eye Patches, to Eye injury protection products, We offer much more in Eye Safety than just our vast selection of Eye Wash in bottles and Eye Wash Stations. Be sure to see our Eye Protection Safety Training products, too! From Eye Drops, Eye Cups and Eye Patches, to Eye injury protection products, We offer much more in Eye Safety than just our vast selection of Eye Wash in bottles and Eye Wash Stations. Be sure to see our Eye Protection Safety Training products, too!

      Accessibility is key when trying to determine the location of the Emergency equipment. Generally speaking the equipment needs to be located so it can be reached within 10 seconds walking time. Keep in mind that the person traveling may be injured or impaired and may have limited vision. Equipment should be installed at the same floor level as the hazard, no stairs or ramps should hamper access. Pathways should be clear and free of any obstructions. The location must be marked by highly visible signage, which displays an easily identifiable symbol, so as to eliminate any language barriers. The Area should also be well lit. In areas where more than one worker might be exposed to hazardous equipment at the same time may require more than one Emergency Shower, and Eye / Face wash.

      Some environments may require special considerations. In areas where the only possible place to install Emergency Safety Showers is in a hallway or a corridor, it is recommended that eye wash/ face wash drench hose units be located by Sinks. By using a combination of Eye / Face Wash and Emergency Showers the person exposed can receive both immediate and or long term drenching. Where needed a visual or audible alarm can be used to alert other workers, when the emergency shower is activated. This allows other workers to be alerted to the needs of the injured party and assist them in getting into the Emergency shower if their sight is impaired. Clothes that have come in contact with hazardous materials may need to be removed from the injured person. A privacy curtain, and extra overalls and foot covers should be stored next to the emergency equipment in cases such as this.

      The Flushing Fluid is defined as any potable water, buffered saline solution or medically acceptable solution. Drinking water or potable water is defined as “water of sufficiently high quality that it can be consumed or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm” (Wikipedia). Potable water may not be the best flushing solution as it may contain rust and scale from the inside of pipes, as well as chemicals such as chlorine. Water lines should be flushed periodically to remove contaminates. The temperature of the water must be “tepid” (i.e. moderately warm or lukewarm), unless a chemical reaction could be accelerated by the warm water. In cases where plumbed water is not accessible a Self Contained Personal Wash station can be implemented. Personal wash stations cannot take the place of plumbed Emergency Eyewash stations , however they can be used in combination with an ANSI compliant 15 minute supply station. Personal wash stations use a Buffered Saline Solution which must be monitored and changed by the expiration date, otherwise the fluid, can become contaminated and possibly cause serious damage to the eyes it is flushing.

      Eye WashConsideration must be given to the disposal of the waste water/flushing fluid. If a Drain is not close, Self Contained Wash Stations can leave a pool of waste water that can become a slip hazard. Also take into consideration any electrical equipment in the area, and determine if it will come in contact with the Flushing fluid or waste water, which could cause other potentially hazardous situations. Many Pre-Plumbed units are designed to be connected directly to drain piping. After the Emergency Shower has been used, the waste water may contain contaminates that cannot go into a sanitary sewer. In these cases the drain should be piped to an acid waste disposal system or a neutralizing tank.

      Training of workers:
      You should designate one person in the work area and make them responsible for regularly inspecting, maintaining and or activating the Emergency Equipment, according to the manufactures instructions. The same person should be responsible for a signed and dated inspection log of the equipment. All workers need to be instructed in the location, and proper use of the equipment before an emergency occurs. As a part of the training give new workers a hands-on run through of how to use the equipment, and give other employees a yearly review of the procedure. Keep a set of written instructions posted next to the Emergency Eye Wash / Face wash station.

      Keep copies of the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all Hazardous materials on the premises. All hazardous materials need to be positively identified. When working with Chemicals, Dust, Corrosives or any hazardous materials that may require the use of Emergency Equipment, remember that preparation plays a very large role, in worker safety. Being prepared is not a onetime consideration, but an ongoing pursuit.

      From Eye Drops, Eye Cups and Eye Patches, to Eye injury protection products, We offer much more in Eye Safety than just our vast selection of Eye Wash in bottles and Eye Wash Stations. Be sure to see our Eye Protection Safety Training products, too!
      From the best Eyeglass Lens Cleaner Wipes to Eye First Aid Packs and Eye Cups, we have all those Eye products you need like Sterile Eye Pads, Eye Drops and the American Red Cross Eye Emergency Pack. We even offer Pens Lights for checking Pupil Dilation and Eye Magnets!
      Eye Wash Bottles and Refills, Eye Rinses and Eye Drops - We offer all sizes from 1/2 oz and 1 oz, 20 ml, even 4, 8, 16 and 32 oz Eye washes and refill bottles - Sterile Eye wash for OSHA compliance and ANSI eye wash standards.
      Eye Safety Goggles for protection against chemical splashes and other foreign body eye contamination. Ventilated Chemical Goggles, Crews Protect Splash Goggles and more.
      Eyesaline Solution for Porta Stream I & II, Flash Flood Refill Cartridges and the Porta Stream I Concentrate. Sperian, Fend-All, Eyesaline Brand Eyewash Stations & refills by Sperian Fendall.
      Lubricated Eye Drops for redness and itchy eyes and Industrial Strength Eye Drops for Welder's Arc. Advanced eye relief at affordable pricing.
      HAWS 15 Minute Portable Eye Wash Station and HAWS Water Preservative Additive.
      Double Eye Wash Stations with built in Eye Safety Station Signage and refills Eye Wash bottles in 16 oz and 32 oz sizes. Two Bottle Double Eyewash Stations for OSHA Eye Safety Compliance. Eye Stations & Refills
    • Mark Trail - NOAA on Frostbite

      We've shared other information on Hypothermia & Frostbite First Aid and Warmers, but here's a fun one from NOAA from 1996...

      Protect yourself from extreme cold - 'Mark Trail' offers tips for preventing and treating frostbite:

      Click to view Full Size and Learn about Frostbite Click to view Full Size and Learn about Frostbite

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